"Scholars of modern Middle Eastern history, Middle Eastern and Arab nationalism, and the Nahda in particular will find this book to be an original, useful, and entertaining study of the life and works of a heretofore relatively obscure Ottoman intellectual and pan-Arab thinker."—the Historian
"The excellent work of Philipp, Kilpatrick, and Starkey will make the seminal contributions of Jurji Zaidan far more accessible to a wider readership. The Zaidan Foundation’s work is laudable. Scholars, however, should be careful not to let the emphasis on one man with a family foundation behind him overshadow other significant actors in the cultural and social drama of a fascinating age."—International Journal of Middle East Studies
"While Philipp’s analysis and selection of articles may not provide original material to scholars familiar with fin-de-siècle intellectual, literary, and cultural history of the Arab world, it serves as a helpful resource for teaching al-nah?ah (in English) at the undergraduate and graduate level. Likewise, it provides a lucid and descriptive introduction to Zaydan’s theories of language, history, and society, while providing soundly translated original texts that truly represent his oeuvre and worldview."—Journal of Arabic Literature
"In this extensive study, Thomas Philipp brings to light the significant intellectual contributions of Jurji Zaidan to the Arab Nahda, or awakening, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries."—Review of Middle East Studies
Jurji Zaidan was one of the leading thinkers of the Arab renaissance.
Through his historical novels, his widely read journal, al-Hilal, which is still
published today, and his scholarly works, he forged a new cultural Arab
identity. In this book, Philipp shows how Zaidan popularized the idea of
society that was based on science and reason, and invoked its accessibility
to all who aspired to progress and modernity.
In the first section, Philipp traces the arc of Zaidan’s career, placing his
writings within the political and cultural contexts of the day and analyzing
his impact on the emerging Arab nationalist movement. The second part
consists of a wide selection of Zaidan’s articles and book excerpts translated
into English. These pieces cover such fields as religion and science, society
and ethics, and nationalism. With the addition of a comprehensive bibliography,
this volume will be recognized as the authoritative source on Zaidan,
as well as an essential contribution to the study of Arabic cultural history.
Thomas Philipp retired in 2008 from the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-
Nürnberg, where he taught Modern History and Politics of the Middle East for twenty
6 x 9, 496 pages